I believe SA has the capability to start such a venture (with the majority of aust's defence companies based there). So why not?
Sky spy base plan for SA
By PAUL STARICK
ASTRONAUT Andy Thomas wants to use Woomera as a base to fire spy satellites into space aboard missiles launched from high-flying aircraft.
Science Minister Julie Bishop has expressed interest in his plan, designed to ensure Australia develops satellite security monitoring of its coastline.
The Adelaide-born National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronaut in the U.S. dismissed suggestions his $140 million plan was "pie-in-the-sky", saying ignoring it now would put "the national interests at risk some time in the future".
"The greatest benefit to the country would be that such satellites, carrying the right kinds of sensors, would have huge strategic value to the country," Dr Thomas told The Advertiser.
"(They) could be used to help protect the shores and maintain national security. This is going to be of paramount importance in years to come ..."
Under Dr Thomas' plan, the Federal Government would spend $140 million to $150 million over 10 years to upgrade the disused Woomera space launch centre.
He outlined his passion for an Australian space program to Ms Bishop during a visit to Australia last month.
"I was interested in his views. I respect him as an astronaut and as a scientific thinker and I've invited him to send me his thinking," Ms Bishop said.
Dr Thomas said reviving Woomera as a space base would create hi-tech jobs and reap economic rewards by allowing commercial use.
Australia would develop its own satellite program, which Dr Thomas said was feasible because "some universities are developing and flying their own satellites".
Urging the Government to start a technical feasibility study, Dr Thomas said Australia now was relying on spy satellite information from other countries.
"How can we be assured that those assets will be available to Australia in times of national emergency?" he said.
"Clearly, we cannot. That is why Australia needs to own its capability."
Part of Dr Thomas' plan involved space tourism but he said that alone was unlikely to make a Woomera launch base viable.